As the universal Church prepares to mark the 28th World Day of the Sick on February 11, the Catholic Health Professionals Guild in Ghana’s Accra Archdiocese has outlined a series of activities to commemorate the day, geared towards the promotion of human dignity and life.
“We are reminded that in our work, we have to always strive to promote the dignity and life of each person, and reject any compromise in the direction of euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even in the case of terminal illness,” the Coordinator of the Catholic Professionals Guilds in Accra, Edward Ayem, told ACI Africa in an interview, Sunday, February 2.
“Health Workers in Ghana have a mandate to serve the sick in a generous manner as a form of evangelization,” Mr Ayem added.
Ayem who is also Organising Secretary of the Health Professionals has encouraged all Catholic Health Professionals to join in the celebration, “because our professionalism, sustained by Christian charity, will be the best service we can offer for the safeguarding of the truest human right, the right to life.”
“When we can no longer provide a cure, we will still be able to provide care and healing, through gestures and procedures that give comfort and relief to the sick,” he stated.
February 11 is World Day of the Sick, an observation started by Saint Pope John Paul II as a way for believers to offer prayers for those suffering from illnesses.
The day also coincides with the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes.
This year the Holy Father Pope Francis in message is calling “healthcare institutions and government leaders throughout the world not to neglect social justice out of a preoccupation for financial concerns.”
In line with the Pope’s call, Catholic Health Professionals Guild in Ghana intends to give priority to human dignity and life during activities to mark World Day of the Sick.
To mark World Day of the Sick in Accra, the Catholic Health Professionals Guild is planning a Mass for all Catholic Health Professionals that will be celebrated by the Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie, CSSp.
The Mass at the St. Kizito Parish at Nima, a suburb of Accra, on February 11, 2020, is expected to be attended by over 200 Catholic Health Professionals working in hospitals, Polyclinics, Clinics within the Archdiocese as well as the Ministry of Health and Health Training Institutions.
According to Edward Ayem, “This is the first activity to kick-start the celebration of the 5th anniversary of the inauguration of the Catholic Health Professionals Guild by Archbishop Charles Palmer Buckle, the then Archbishop of Accra.”
“The Health Professionals in Accra are putting together other activities like health screenings in several Parishes in the Archdiocese, an Anniversary Public Lecture a dinner to appreciate the work of caregivers in the Archdiocese,” he added.
Reflecting on the universal theme for this year’s celebration titled “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28),” Ayem noted, “the Catholic Church has been partnering with the government to provide healthcare.”
“The celebration of the World Day of the Sick calls our attention to consciously raise, discuss and find solutions to challenges and opportunities in the world of the sick and suffering – both patient and caregivers,” Ayem added.
With the slogan “In God Our Health is assured,” Ayem stressed that “As healthcare professionals, it is a time to introspect and remember that diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic treatments, research, care and rehabilitation are always in the service of the sick person.”
Meantime as part of activities to mark the national launch of the Day, the National Catholic Health Service in Ghana will officially inaugurate the St. Pauline Clinic in a ceremony at the National Catholic Secretariat in Accra on February 7, 2020.